Sail away, Columbus Feb04

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Sail away, Columbus

You knew it was coming.

Like many people who accomplish great things, Christopher Columbus certainly had his faults.  But leading four voyages across a terrifying and unknown ocean in little wooden boats was an accomplishment to be celebrated even in Atlanta schools.  That is, until recently.

Now the Atlanta Public School System is going with the tide and renaming the holiday currently known as Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day.  They aren’t willing to give up the time off from work, but they can’t abide honoring such a villain as Chris C.  To keep the current name would be to “celebrate colonialism and overlook mistreatment of Native Americans.”

The AJC states that “The move would be largely symbolic,” which is exactly the point.  Naming a day after an event or person (Independence Day, Martin Luther King, etc.) allows us to reflect on these historical notes and their impact.  But if the Atlanta School Board has its way (and they certainly will) they will chip away just a bit more of our culture and heritage.

They say the victors write the history, and I guess that is what we are seeing in this case.  Christmas is “Winter Break.”  I would expect after Columbus we will lose Independence Day (“Impudence Day?”), Thanksgiving (“Bait the Trap Day?”) and Presidents’ Day will probably become “Dictator Day” or “Glorious Savior Day” depending on political affiliation.

What can you do about this one?  Sorry – nothing.  Writing letters and making phone calls won’t help and will just result in you being labeled one of the current derogatory terms.  That is why our constant involvement, at all levels, is so important.